For the uninitiated, voice acting comes across as a fairly simple process. You sit in a little room and speak into a microphone. It’s easy, right? Not so much. In fact, voice acting is a fairly intensive process, which can easily do significant damage to your voice. Such was the case when Josh Gad recorded his lines for this weeks’ The Angry Birds Movie. While Gad has experience doing voice acting before, this time was different, by virtue of the way his character spoke.
While we all know Josh Gad from his turn as the snowman Olaf from Disney’s Frozen, his most recent time in the voice booth was a very different experience. I had the opportunity to speak with Gad about what it was like to record his lines as Chuck, the fast-talking member of the team in The Angry Birds Movie. He told me that the speed at which Chuck speaks meant that he wore out his own voice very quickly.
With Chuck, it was exhausting. It was exhausting. I mean like, because he’s so fast and high-pitched, I would, within three takes, my mouth would be numb and my voice would be gone, so it was just like, you know, and there’s so much of it is like screaming, because you’re in a crazy situation, so you’re putting it all out there.
While Olaf the snowman was soft spoken and child-like in his innocence, Chuck is a very different character. He’s been there, done that, and could teach you a thing or two about it. His hyperspeed speech is a key part of his character, but he’s an animated character to be sure. Real people don’t talk like this, so Josh Gad’s voice apparently wasn’t prepared to do so. Voice acting often requires multiple takes for every line, because the recording is done so early in the process that the filmmakers don’t always know exactly what it is they will want out of any given scene. As one of the major characters of The Angry Birds Movie, Chuck has more than his share of lines. One can only imagine what sort of state the actor's voice was in after a long day of recording.
While The Angry Birds Movie recording experience was brutal for Josh Gad, we can imagine that this wasn’t necessarily the case for every actor. Sean Penn’s role of Terrence consisted almost entirely of simple grunts. We don’t imagine that was quite as difficult. Although, somewhere there is probably a fantastic tape of Sean Penn grunt outtakes.
Josh Gad will likely be back in the recording booth before too long. He’ll be reprising his role of Olaf in Frozen 2, which we still expect will be going into production as quickly as Disney can make it happen. The Angry Birds Movie flies into theaters on Friday.